Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 236

Hi.

Coffee: Americano, Caribou Coffee

My upstairs neighbor’s son passed in a car crash yesterday. She came by crying and told us to forgive her for the family commotion upstairs. I told her not to worry, that I was there for her, but I didn’t mean it – not because I didn’t want to mean it, but because there’s nothing I can really do. I only learned her name this morning. I baked the family brownies and brought them over. She had hair rollers and was smiling.

This is the second son that’s died in our apartment building this year. I didn’t know them, but I’ve been thinking about them both all day. That’s all I’ve got for the Coffee Log. Tell your friends you love them.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 183

Hi.

Coffee: Pike Place, Apartment Lounge Brew

What’s the value of work?

I went to the store today to buy cheese. Yesterday, at the grocery, I bought a bag of vegan mozzarella and half-gagged. I’m working my way to vegan but I’m not there yet.

Today, the cashier was a woman with red hair and black glasses. She was short. She had a pin on her shirt that said ‘Happily Serving Since 2019.’ Her hands had a lot of freckles on them.

Part of what was in our cart was a pom-pom mushroom. The cashier tried to ring it but it wasn’t in the system. So she set to flipping through the sku book, searching the computer, all to no luck. Eventually, she took the price per pound and multiplied it out by weight. She did the calculation on a piece of receipt paper.

Before we left, I asked the cashier how her shift had been. She smiled and said she’d been working since morning. Just before we came up she was supposed to take her half-hour break but the store got busy so she was sticking around to help. I thought that was really something.

Outside, under a cool gray sky, I tried to find pride in the way I spend my days.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

And suddenly, not a soul’s at the store as for other & similar & just as blank reasons, they’ve gone to the silence, the suppers of their own mystery.

Jack Kerouac, Book of Sketches

Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 102

Hi.

Coffee: Maxwell House Drip, Office Coffee

I spent fifteen minutes sitting on a wet step with a cat that’s moving away. This was about an hour after a thunderstorm. Dogs passed. The cat stood on her hindlegs to sniff at leaves.

Some moments speak for themselves.

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border  – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Coffee Log, Day 362

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I took a short walk. About one third of the route I usually take.

There’s been this tension in the air – hot days, cold days. It feels like the world’s a toddler trying on school clothes. And that’s made it hard for me to focus. One side wants to run out and rip a hole in soft, black dirt. Another wants to drink hot coffee by a cold window.

I’ve been working through this novel. It feels real to sit at the computer and write, whether its for four hours or fifteen minutes. I wonder sometimes why writing feels like that to me. Everyone’s got it – that something that makes them tick. But where does that come from? Who gets to choose what passion will devour you from your toes up?

I shared my pot of coffee with two old friends this morning. I didn’t really want to. I would have rather been alone. But they were there and so I shared it and in the end that was okay too.

Novel Count: 24,930

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling, with a heavy pack, is easier than it sounds; you just can’t fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.

Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums


Coffee Log, Day 261

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

I watched someone’s backyard for eight hours yesterday. You could see through the drive-through window at the branch. They had a small shed between trees. The shed had a window on it, though I got the impression that window is never opened.

Across the lawn, the house was propped with scaffolding that hasn’t come down for six months. There’s tiles on the top for a roofing project but maybe these days fixing your roof is the last thing on your mind.

Pretty soon, it started to rain. Cold cloud cover. A marginal fog. The shed light popped like a shipping beacon. Puddles grew in grass. It stayed like that all afternoon – fits and spasms, cold and damp, a hibernating storm. When the cars drove by they’d kick some of the water up so it looked like they were spitting.

My colleagues called it ‘dismal.’ I had to disagree. There’s something about a cold rain that locks you in place. Uncomfortable but preserving. I watched the stranger’s yard in a slow freeze. It was a beautiful thing so I just wanted to share.

Novel Count: 7,262 words

Currently Reading: Autumn, Ali Smith; Cherry, Nico Walker

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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Coffee Log, Day 190

Hi.

Coffee: Sumatra Medium-Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s

Late August heatwave. My dash reads 98. At least I parked in shade.

A busy day – at work, after work. Thursday smells like the weekend you can’t bite into, green bananas.

I want to take a trip for Labor Day. I had two trips planned but both fell through. For a few years, each get-out-of-town has been preceded by pop-up drama, heartfelt taking stock, calendar confusion. I might go somewhere alone. I might climb a mountain to remind myself I can.

Currently Reading: Nothing! Still poking through some books, will settle soon.

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling, with a heavy pack, is easier than it sounds; you just can’t fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.” – Jack Kerouac

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Coffee Log, Day 111

Hi.

Coffee: Organic Sumatra Blend, Trader Joe’s Brand

Gray skies but it hasn’t rained. I’ve got my window open. I hear the two-tone of cars and crickets. Summer – ghost stories, according to Japan, and I get it – someone’s soul is liable to get lost in the bushy leaves.

School’s out. Lots of parents came by with their kids today. Most deposited a hundred dollars in a kids account. They were all white, all scrawny, a mayonnaise legion. I hope they’ll grow up to lock arms with a big, vibrant phalanx.

I think about story-telling. I’ve been running away from it since third grade when I stood up and answered a question in class, got it wrong, and was laughed at. Such a small thing, but it told me to shut up.

We stayed for two weeks at a camp off the coast of Hiroshima. There were dorms for us, dorms for the kids. One dorm was on a hill and the property owners wouldn’t touch it. Weeds, sheetgrass. Blue and white but faded, your grandfather’s photos of Santorini. On a mixed camp group – elementary to high school – I got stuck with the oldest, brightest, a group of five girls who spoke English with more character than me. We had a barbecue below the old dorms. The girls helped with the young ones, then we all went on a ghost hunt. I marched in front yelling “One, two, one, two!” Every kid was shouting with me. It was the most powerful I’ve ever felt. It was some of the only power I’ve ever felt good about feeling.

When we got up the hill, circled the old dorms, only old wind came to greet us. I’d like to think we scared the ghosts away.

Currently Reading:
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

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“…I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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